Lead Mill Clean-Up Detailed For Board
Bike path may be closed longer than expected as crews clean the site along Lafayette Street.
Selectmen got a clearer picture of when work will begin at the site of the former lead mills at Wednesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting.
John Thompson, a representative of Woodard & Curran, told the board work to clean up the site along Lafayette Street will begin in mid-October. Part of the clean up needs to be completed by Valentine's Day because of federal regulations. Work will also be halted at the end of October to alleviate traffic concerns presented by the city of Salem, he said.
"I've worked on this site since 1993," Thompson, who has family in the area, told the board. Thompson handed selectmen a photo dated back to the 1900s, which showed the former lead mill.
"I thank the town and the city of Salem for their part in managing the clean up," Thompson said.
While an official date was not set, Thompson said work would begin mid-October and focus first on the beach clean-up.
"National Marine Fisheries does not allow work to be done after Feb. 14, because of the spawning cycle of the fish," Thompson said. "We can also only do work at low tide so we will go in when it's low and come out with the tide."
Thompson said they are currently accepting and reviewing bids for a contractor. They expect that contractor to be announced a week from Friday.
Once the contractor is selected, that contractor will be responsible for presenting a traffic plan to the two cities and the two police departments, Thompson said.
"That plan has to be approved before work can start," Thompson said.
Contrary to previous announcements, the bike path will likely be closed 18 months during construction though Thompson said once they are able to open it, they will.
Signage will be placed on West Shore Drive and Lafayette Street to alert people of the closure.
"The trail has to be closed for health and safety reasons," Town Administrator Tony Sasso said. "It's fantastic this is starting; it has been the topic of conversation for many years."
Thompson said work would likely be concentrated to business hours and mid-day.
Once the beach is cleaned, crews will go upland and then work back and out on the site, he said noting five acres of trees will also have to be cleared from the site.
"This has been 17 years for me," Thompson said. "I'm looking forward to shovels hitting the ground."